Greens meets mac & cheese, this dish is ideal when you're looking for something familiar and comforting but also healthy and fresh. It's something we tend to cook for weekday evenings when we don't feel like spending lots of time in the kitchen and something that goes down well with kids if you're trying to get them to eat their greens. The avocado might sound strange but it makes a deliciously creamy sauce when blended together with the cashews, lemon juice and cheese (or nutritional yeast).
Serves 4 & takes 25 minutes to cook
350-400g macaroni pasta (or penne/rigatoni)
1 ripe avocado, de-stoned and flesh removed
1 large bunch of fresh coriander
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
300ml almond milk
Large handful of spinach
Salt and pepper
1 block of parmesan or extra mature cheddar (or 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast for a vegan option)
1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for at least 10 minutes until they become soft. Once soft, drain.
2. Place the avocado flesh, coriander, garlic, lemon (or lime) juice, drained cashews, almond milk and a large pinch of salt into a powerful blender (we use a NutriBullet) and blend until a smooth sauce forms, you may need to add a dash more almond milk until you reach the consistency you like best.
3. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack. Once cooked, drain (saving the pasta water) and place to one side until needed.
4. Place a large pan over a medium heat and stir through the green sauce, grate in a good amount of cheese (or add 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast) and add the spinach. Heat through for 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and everything is piping hot, adding a dash of the pasta water (or almond milk) if the sauce ever becomes too thick.
5. Once the spinach has wilted, mix through the pasta and cook for another minute.
6. Serve in bowls and top with pepper and more grated cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.